Monday, June 24, 2013

An Open Letter to my old Landlords

You don't remember me? I lived in unit 204. Still nothing? I had the black car and lived there oh about eleven years. Oh you remember now?

Do you remember when I moved out? You said my eleven year old deposit didn't cover the cost to refurbish the apartment and then you charged me an additional $700.

I tried to talk with you openly and explain that while my neighbors were moving in and out on an annual basis I was there, year after year. While you brought in painters and rolls of carpeting I was usually there to help hold a door or move a welcome mat while materials were dragged in...into those units.

Boy, were you mad. You sent me the angry letter explaining how my carpet was trashed, especially in the high traffic areas. The paint on the walls was worn and you went on to explain that the place was pretty filthy. You made it clear that the $175 I had left as a deposit would not begin to cover all of the work you would have to do to make my apartment livable for another human being.

You were right too. The place looked really lived in. I mean, nothing was broken but it simply wasn't all that clean. The original carpet color was no longer knowable but it matched the walls in some places. The dining room had a smell...I remember noticing it some time in 2003, but like anything...I got used to it.

Don't get me wrong, I never doubted you had to spend a little extra to get it livable for someone else...but I gotta remind you that you never spent a dime helping make it livable for me. I thought we had an understanding: I was poor and you kept the rent fairly low.

I never abused this understanding. I didn't trash the apartment. It just looked like 600 square feet that someone had lived in for eleven years while the landlord never repaired or replaced anything. Do you remember now?

We couldn't work it out. You promised to take me to collections. You promised to try to make it hard on me if I didn't pay you. You reported me to three major credit bureaus. You said I'd regret ignoring your invoice. I called more to work it out but you didn't care. You kept your promise and that was that.

I kept my promise too though. So while I didn't pay you we both have our honor. The blemish you put on my credit is now gone and we're both forced to look back and consider the damage we did to each other.

You finally had to pay for the wear and tear to refurbish an apartment you had ignored for a decade...and did it go for me? I bought a house and two cars and then refinanced that house and well...I guess nothing really happened to me at all.

Looking back I guess it seems silly we couldn't work it out.

Oh by the way, that smell was cat pee.   The cat died a few years ago so it's best we all move on...I just wanted to uh...clear the air.

All the best in your future endeavors,